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Old 05-08-2016, 12:46 PM   #15
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Battery Drain Source

Ive noticed that my rear TV , plugged into receptacle just above TV, remains powered up, red light on bottom of tv is lit, even with the main battery switch off.. I have to unplug when not using. Everything is off, including engine..Could this be a drain on battery, also is this normal?? May be something to check for battery drain..
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:49 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RICKBETTY View Post
Ive noticed that my rear TV , plugged into receptacle just above TV, remains powered up, red light on bottom of tv is lit, even with the main battery switch off.. I have to unplug when not using. Everything is off, including engine..Could this be a drain on battery, also is this normal?? May be something to check for battery drain..
On many Airstreams, the inverter is wired in parallel to the main disconnect, meaning the disconnect does not shut off the inverter. The inverter would need to be shut off separately.

Or you could switch off the breakers. But since the inverter also draws some power even when no circuits are energized, shutting off the inverter is better.

A television that has a wireless remote must draw some power even when turned off, otherwise the remote wouldn't work to turn on the television. So yes, it would be a parasitic drain.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by RICKBETTY View Post
Ive noticed that my rear TV , plugged into receptacle just above TV, remains powered up, red light on bottom of tv is lit, even with the main battery switch off.. I have to unplug when not using. Everything is off, including engine..Could this be a drain on battery, also is this normal?? May be something to check for battery drain..


From the Magnum RC panel, press and hold the on/off button. It will turn off the inverter and the TV will be powered down. This removes a significant parasitic power draw. The inverter will still be consuming. ~400 mA when off.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:43 PM   #18
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AnnArborBob, do you have any pics of your install? What brand and model panels did you use? I would like to install something similar. I am concerned that too many panels will look odd.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ur-136062.html
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:59 PM   #19
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I would like to install solar panels on my 34'. Can anyone tell me how many it would require to be fully operational with two rooftop A/Cs? I'm not interested in pro installation. I can do it myself. Just having trouble figuring out all the calculations on the websites. Can't be that complicated. I have roughly 225 sq ft of interior space & all the usual appliances. Any help would be appreciated 🌺
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tampatomgirl View Post
I would like to install solar panels on my 34'. Can anyone tell me how many it would require to be fully operational with two rooftop A/Cs? I'm not interested in pro installation. I can do it myself. Just having trouble figuring out all the calculations on the websites. Can't be that complicated. I have roughly 225 sq ft of interior space & all the usual appliances. Any help would be appreciated 🌺
Your question is a bit off the topic of this post so you may want to start your own post and re-ask this question. But to cut to the chase, if you intend to run your two AC's off the solar panels, forget it. There isn't enough room on your roof for the amount of solar panels you would need.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:33 AM   #21
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I would like to install solar panels on my 34'. Can anyone tell me how many it would require to be fully operational with two rooftop A/Cs?
Not possible at all. Even if you had all of the solar capacity in the world, you wouldn't be running the A/Cs from the solar panels, you'd be running them from the batteries through the inverter. And your A/Cs aren't wired to run from the inverter in the first place. Those circuits are shore-power-only.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tampatomgirl View Post
I would like to install solar panels on my 34'. Can anyone tell me how many it would require to be fully operational with two rooftop A/Cs? I'm not interested in pro installation. I can do it myself. Just having trouble figuring out all the calculations on the websites. Can't be that complicated. I have roughly 225 sq ft of interior space & all the usual appliances. Any help would be appreciated 🌺
As others have said, it can't really be done. It would require between 50 and 100 panels and your roof probably maxes out with 15 panels.

A generator is the only option for off grid air conditioning.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:13 AM   #23
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Uh......guys...................

IT CAN BE DONE and IS BEING DONE as everyone reads this!!!

With new lithium battery technology, you can EASILY operate ONE roof A/C from the battery bank thru a suitably sized inverter. I have an Interstate client on the road now with an 800 amp/hour lithium, Magnum MSH3012-M inverter/charger and 400 watts of solar that can run his roof A/C for around 5+ hours while stationary during daylight hours. (A larger solar array and controller will extend this operational time by contributing more charging amps into the battery bank during daylight hours).

While running down the road, the engine alternator provides a 50-60amp boost into the batteries that will extend the A/C run time to 7-8 hours. The batteries are then easily recharged at a rate of 125 amps by the generator/inverter at any time.

I haven't had the opportunity to try this yet, but with a similar arrangement and properly sized generator, this would probably start and run 2 roof A/C units as well, but not for the duration listed above.

The only problem is the cost.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:54 AM   #24
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IT CAN BE DONE and IS BEING DONE as everyone reads this!!!
Thanks for the clarification/correction. My response was based on an interpretation of Tampatomgirl's post that didn't include changing out the batteries for LiFePO4 but rather just adding solar panels to the existing electrical system. The fact that she said, "I'm not interested in pro installation. I can do it myself," is what led to my interpretation.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:03 AM   #25
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I'm on day 3 with no hook ups. The 300 watts and good weather (sun) is recharging completely during the day. I'm dropping to 55% DOD over the evening. Frig is running 24 hours and fan during the afternoon. Nothing else. So I will be adding two additional batteries to store more reserve and allow more convenience items to be on. Pleased with the outcome so far.

This would be so easy for AS to plop an addition 200 Watts and I think most folks would be very satisfied. I will be replacing the 15 thermal breaker as I think it has popped at least a couple of times so I'm not able to take full advantage of the solar power available at peak charging. I've not seen 17 amps yet, but 16 regularly between 11:30 and 1.

When the below freezing charging issue is solved for Li I'm all in.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Thanks for the clarification/correction. My response was based on an interpretation of Tampatomgirl's post that didn't include changing out the batteries for LiFePO4 but rather just adding solar panels to the existing electrical system. The fact that she said, "I'm not interested in pro installation. I can do it myself," is what led to my interpretation.

Protag,

You are absolutely correct based on the OP's basic stipulation. And you are correct again as this type of all-encompassing trailer re-wire is definitely not for the inexperienced nor the basic DIY-er.

There are several folks on here who have done similar upgrades to their rigs, but all seem to be coming from a related tech field with transferable skill sets. 😁




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Old 05-10-2016, 11:05 AM   #27
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Protag,

You are absolutely correct based on the OP's basic stipulation. And you are correct again as this type of all-encompassing trailer re-wire is definitely not for the inexperienced nor the basic DIY-er.

There are several folks on here who have done similar upgrades to their rigs, but all seem to be coming from a related tech field with transferable skill sets. 😁




Lew Farber
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As Clint Eastwood famously said,"A man has got to know his limitations."
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:18 PM   #28
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Here are two pictures of our current installation. We will be getting two additional panels in another week or so. They are Grape Solar panels provided by AM Solar. (BTW, these were installed by LEWSTER.)
As has been mentioned on other threads, for the benefit of thread readers who may be just beginning their solar research, your panels appear to have raise-lower ability. That is potentially very useful, but in the first photo you show, shadows appear to be cast on the background panels. According to solar guru Handy Bob, huge losses can result from little shadows, to the point where (depending on configuration) it might be better to have a smaller number of shadowless monocrystalline panels vs. an array with more panels but which is subject to more frequent shadowing. That kind of thing ought to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

We followed Lewster's general principles and also Handy Bob's advice when DIY-designing our 3-panel system, which looks like this (below). Because we had a very small available roof space and a very nice OEM Airstream roof rack already in place, we vaulted our panels above our air conditioner by affixing them to the roof rack (the custom panel frame is hinged so the a/c can be accessed when needed).

As far as we know, to date we're the only Interstate owners who have taken this kind of approach. Our system works wonderfully, with no shadows being cast at any time, and we've noticed no handling degradation in the vehicle with the panels up that high. The frame and panels weigh less than 100 pounds and the front of the frame is tilted down slightly to deflect air flow when the vehicle is in motion.
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